Sometimes, you just need a cliff to leap off...
I relate to a lot of this Louise - I often find a song and listen to it over and over - but this part was a 100% relate:
“ I had been such a high masker for years, I went into a situation and asked who am I supposed to be in this moment, which parts of me is it safe to share here. And as a queer, geeky autistic woman, often there were not many parts that felt safe, so I learnt to edit myself for others comfort.”
Im not certain about my cliffs or bridges. I guess I gained the knowledge of my creativity through taking a leap which in turn means this Substack and community. I need to think more about it.
Thank you for sharing. 🖤
So relatable, Louise. Indeed, Landslide and most of Fleetwood Mac helped me to cross bridges more safely and with more certainty after my diagnosis. There were also times when another old favourite of mine, Tom Petty's Freefallin, reminded me of the rush I felt to step into my new identity too quickly and to actually remask myself as an autistic.
I was like lost in translation of myself to myself. In that freefall space, my autistic impostor was wondering if I was actually autistic enough to be autistic! Bungee jumps with my new-found crisis of identity.
My masked autistic bouncing back to knee and neck jerking reactive coping mechanisms to neurotypical ways of being and the unmasked autistic hanging by a thread searching in all that open space up in the air trying to find me.
I am 2 years diagnosed and have the gift of knowing this weekend with my autism-versary.
It is still a bit of a combined landslide and freefall, but at least I know better now how to catch myself and cross over more safely. It is truly wonderful.
I also have three tattoos from prior to my diagnosis, but they also remind me of significant life transitions that have undoubtedly given me the strength to navigate the autistic identity crisis with the grace and self-compassion I needed.
Take good care.